Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 12/24/07 from Iraq.

The Big News: WWE presented the company’s annual Tribute to the Troops. No show that WWE produces reflects more positively on the company.

Show Analysis:

Chris Jericho beat Randy Orton via DQ to start the show. Jericho got a big reaction. He worked over Orton’s arm, and hit a plancha to the outside. He rammed Orton into the steps, but was caught with a kick coming back into the ring. Orton dominated with an implant DDT and Garvin stomp. Jericho retaliated with shoulder blocks, clotheslines, and a drop kick off the second rope. He went for the Walls of Jericho, but Orton rolled him up for two.

Jericho followed up with an enzuigiri, bulldog and lionsault. Orton regained control by going to the eye, and hit a back breaker. He went for the RKO, but Jericho escaped and applied the Walls. At that point, JBL came out for one of the few angles in the history of the tribute to the troops shows. JBL ran down Jericho, Jericho attacked JBL, and that gave Orton the opportunity to hit the RKO. JBL laid out Jericho with the clothesline from hell.

Jeff Hardy beat Carlito. This was pretty much a squash, so they were either planning the big push for Hardy when the show was taped or they still thought Carlito was leaving. Jeff hit a clothesline off the apron, and kick into the corner. Jeff went for the twist of fate, but Carlito reversed into a neck breaker. He brought an apple into the ring, but Jeff gave him a jaw breaker, twist of fate and swanton for the pin.

Kelly Kelly and Layla fought to a no contest with Mickie and Maria. Prior to the match, Vince McMahon gave a speech about supporting the troops. However, he came in the ring and stopped the match after a double bronco buster spot. That brought out Santa, with his arm in a sling. He said Vince is naughty and he tried to sabotage Santa’s sleigh. He also said that Vince stole a naughty magazine from a convenience store when he was a kid.

Vince said that this wasn’t the real Santa, so Santa read a letter from Vince as a child. Santa said it was written almost a hundred years ago, and the troops chanted “old as dirt” at Vince. This was amusing enough that I expect to hear it again from domestic crowds. Vince took off Santa’s beard to reveal John Cena, who gave him the FU. Cena and the divas gave gifts to the troops.

Rey Mysterio beat Mark Henry. Henry overpowered Rey early, including a press slam, bear hug, and clothesline. He missed a splash, which gave Rey the chance to make a comeback. Rey hit the 619, two springboard sentons, and rolled up Henry for the pin.

Triple H and Shawn Michaels beat Umaga and Mr. Kennedy. Shawn and Hunter came out as DX. It doesn’t matter at all, but it is kind of funny that since the “one time only” DX reunion it feels like they have teamed up every week. Michaels went for sweet chin music early on Kennedy, but Umaga cut him off with a clothesline.

The heels worked over Shawn, until Umaga missed a head butt off the second rope. HHH got the hot tag, and hit a high knee and spine buster on Kennedy. Umaga stopped a pedigree attempt and went for the Samoan spike, but received sweet chin music. Michaels then gave Kennedy sweet chin music as well, HHH hit the pedigree, and DX scored the win. After the match, they celebrated with the troops in the ring.

Final Thoughts:

This was the WWE’s traditional holiday show, built mostly around segments about the troops. The early problems with the show (WWE self-aggrandizement, misplaced hostility directed towards the media) are now pretty much gone, leaving a classy and worthy annual tradition. Props to WWE.

I know it’s a cliche, but the holidays really are a great opportunity to let the people close to you know how much they mean to you. Take advantage of it. You may not have the chance for as long as you’d like, and they will appreciate it for sure either way. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season. Check out CBSSports.com this weekend for my Octagonside coverage of UFC 79.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 12/17/07 from Buffalo, NY.

The Big News: Raw didn’t suffer a letdown following their fifteenth anniversary show. The subsequent edition was a well-booked and entertaining program, highlighted by Jeff Hardy scoring a win over champion Randy Orton.

Show Analysis:

Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly and Maria defeated Jillian Hall, Melina, Layla and Victoria in a Santa’s Little Helpers match. Basically, the women were in skimpy theme costumes that provided lots of panty shots. The match itself was pretty much a clusterfuck, with some pretty brutal stretches. The heels worked over Michelle, who made the hot tag to Mickie after Victoria missed a second rope moonsault. Mickie hit a Thesz press off the top, huracanrana, neckbreaker and implant DDT on Victoria for the pin. The faces cleared the ring of the heels after the match.

Vince McMahon staggered to the ring at the end of this match. He was upset that his night of celebration ended in humiliation. Vince didn’t understand how people could celebrate his anguish. Jeff Hardy came out and compared Vince to Saddam Hussein. An upset Vince sat down in the corner, and remained there after a commercial break. William Regal tried to get him to leave. HHH came out, and tried to get Vince to leave. Regal told HHH to leave Vince alone, and had a stare down with HHH. Vince got up and started muttering. He made Coach and Regal vs. HHH, and said he hoped something bad would happen.

Triple H beat William Regal and Coach. Regal kicked HHH’s head into the ring post early, which was a really impressive spot. They should have sold it much more, but HHH kicked out before two. Regal and Coach double teamed HHH. HHH made a comeback. Regal brought in brass knuckles, but was caught with a spine buster. Coach went to use the knuckles, but thought better of it and handed them over to HHH. HHH gave him a pedigree for the pin.

Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly beat Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade. This was short, but good while it lasted. Holly went for the Alabama slam, but he was cut off. Cade held him for a Murdoch yakuza kick. After being worked over briefly, Holly made the tag to Rhodes. Rhodes hit a bulldog and DDT on Cade for the pin. Cody should develop a new finisher. His top moves are really common moves that are almost never finishes.

Ric Flair came out for a promo. He said Vince doesn’t want him to get hurt on Vince’s watch, I guess to connect the dots for those wondering why Vince made the stipulation. Flair said he loves being the Nature Boy and will never retire. He ran down some famous rivals and friends, and said he will always cherish them. He said the locker room believes in him, and he’ll bring his best. This was generally a very good promo, although it went on a little too long.

Ric Flair beat Umaga via count out. Umaga kicked Flair in the back of the head, hit a splash, and applied a nerve hold. Flair came back with chops, but Umaga hit a Samoan drop. Umaga missed a head butt off the second rope, and Flair responded with chops and chop blocks. They went to the outside, where Umaga rammed Jeff into the ring post. He charged at Flair, but Flair moved out of the way and Umaga crashed through the barricade. Flair got back in the ring and Umaga was counted out.

Chris Jericho came out and wanted to know why JBL attacked him. He said he invited JBL to Raw, but JBL declined. JBL appeared on the screen and said he attacked Jericho because Jericho touched him. Jericho said people at ringside get knocked down all the time, and called JBL a crybaby. Jericho said he would come to Smackdown for answers. JBL said that if Jericho comes to Smackdown, he will never get another title shot. Jericho said JBL has gone soft and is a has-been. JBL said he would come to Raw and prove he is a wrestling god. The delivery of both men was strong, but they need to better define the issue between them.

Santino and Carlito beat Brian Kendrick and Paul London. Kendrick and London used arm drags on Santino early. Santino tagged Carlito. Kendrick and London got the better of him too, with a monkey flip and crossbody off the top. Santino broke up the pinning attempt, and managed to distract both faces. That gave Carlito the opportunity to hit the back stabber for the pin. After the match, Santino said that this was a great pairing of an Italian and a Colombian. TNA would love this, a tag team feuding in their first match together. Backstage, Randy Orton said he would kill Jeff Hardy’s dreams. Elsewhere, Vince McMahon made HHH vs. Ric Flair for New Year’s Raw.

Jeff Hardy and Shawn Michaels beat Randy Orton and Mr. Kennedy. Shawn and Jeff were dominant early, and hit stereo pescados. The heels worked over Jeff, who made the hot tag to Shawn. Shawn hit an inverted atomic drop, punches and a flying forearm to Kennedy, but Orton cut off Michaels with a clothesline. The heels then got the heat on Michaels, including a Kennedy running kick to the head and camel clutch. Michaels hit an enzuigiri and tagged Jeff. Jeff hit clotheslines on Orton, and went for the twist of fate. Orton escaped and went for the RKO, but Jeff escaped. Jeff then hit the twist of fate and swanton for the decisive pin. This was a really good match, and there was a big reaction to the finish.

Final Thoughts:

This was a strong show. It had good build, wrestling and pacing.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mitchell Report Out

I'm kind of disappointed by the research put in by the report. The new information contained in the report appears to be provided by an exceedingly limited number of sources. It leaves me thinking that this is once again just the tip of the iceberg, which is bad given how much time Mitchell spent on this report. Really, the federal government and media did a better job addressing this issue than the Mitchell Report.

I've said here before that I was convinced Roger Clemens used performance enhancing drugs, so that's no big surprise. I make the same argument now that I did then. The point there was that scapegoating Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds or Rafael Palmeiro for steroids was dumb, because tons of others were and we just don't know. And same thing now. It's kind of silly to me that the knee jerk reaction of some is just to throw Clemens under the bus too. It still reflects a sort of denial about what was going on.

I went to the WEC show last night. Write up on the promotion is here. And my show report will be up some time today as well. It was a good night for the promotion all around. Attendance was stronger than I had seen at previous shows. It was a good show. They got the results they wanted in the key fights. And there was even much more media covering the show than there had been previously. Dave even flew over to cover the show, which was surprising to me. So good for WEC.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 12/10/07 from Bridgeport, CT.

The Big News: Raw’s fifteenth anniversary show was a fun tribute to the show’s many past successes.

Show Analysis:

The show began with a mix of a number of different Raw opens. Throughout the show, they aired little Raw flashbacks with clips of different themes. There were themes like vehicles, slaps, kisses, celebrities and marriages. There was little in the way of matches, which was telling.

Vince, Shane and Stephanie McMahon came to the ring to start the show with a family portrait. Vince said Linda wouldn’t be there. Hornswoggle came out to a big reaction. Vince said they are all waiting for him to die so they can inherit his fortune. Vince said he loves Shane, Stephanie and kind of Hornswoggle. They were about to do the picture, but HHH came out.

HHH said it isn’t a secret, people are smart, and he feels like a part of the family. He said he could be Vince’s son and said hi to Stephanie. They clearly assumed everyone knows HHH and Stephanie are together, but the audience reaction suggested otherwise. HHH said that since this was a family portrait, he would bring out people Vince has made love with.

First out was Melina. Next was Sunny. It was nice to see Tammy Sytch. She is my all time favorite female performer in wrestling, dating back to Smoky Mountain. She is a tremendously talented woman. Third was Mae Young, who made out with Vince. Vince said they got together at Fabulous Moolah’s funeral after he had too much to drink. This disgusted Shane, who left.

HHH next brought out WWE employees who were mistaken for women and propositioned by Vince: Howard Finkel, Bastion Booger, Big Dick Johnson, Gerald Brisco, Pat Patterson and Abe “Knuckleball Schwartz (the original M.V.P.). HHH joked that the Brooklyn Brawler must have been busy (since Schwartz and Brawler are the same guy).

Stephanie at this point said Vince has embarrassed the family enough, and she would embarrass him. She made out with HHH and left. HHH said he’d see Stephanie at home. Vince told off everyone and left. Hornswoggle was sad that Vince left, and HHH wondered if there was anyone would could make him feel better. Godfather came out and Hornswoggle danced with the ho’s.

Jeff Hardy beat Carlito in a strong ladder match. This appeared to be Carlito’s chance to get back in the good graces of WWE management. Carlito hit Jeff with the ladder. Jeff responded by dropkicking Carlito off the apron onto a ladder. Jeff was climbing the ladder, but Carlito springboarded off the apron onto the ladder. He then jumped over the top of the ladder with a sunset flip power bomb. That was an awesome spot.

Jeff missed a leg drop off the ladder, and Carlito went after Jeff’s leg. Jeff was selling huge, so he might have tweaked his ankle legitimately. Carlito dropped the ladder on Jeff’s leg, and slammed Jeff’s leg onto the ladder. Jeff came back by back dropping Carlito into the ladder and hitting the swanton. Carlito hit the back stabber on a ladder and climbed up to get the belt. Jeff knocked him off the apron and grabbed the belt for the win.

Shawn Michaels did a promo. He said that he was on the first Raw, but couldn’t remember his opponent because that was a dark time in his life. The opponent was Max Moon, for what it’s worth. He mocked the segment last week with Mr. Kennedy, and kept calling him Kennedy Kennedy like Kelly Kelly.

Michaels said that Kennedy would have a chance to prove himself against the real Marty Jannetty this week. Jannetty came in acting like a total geek ala the New Rockers, so evidently that was a little bit of punishment for the repeated no shows. Michaels was really funny here. He added his harder, more sarcastic edge that makes him significantly more entertaining.

Rob Van Dam beat Santino Marella. Santino said that he was sick of this nostalgia show. He said they should honor the future of the show, Santino Marella. He issued an open challenge, which was quickly accepted by RVD. It was nice to see him again, even if it’s a one shot. Hopefully he’ll take a date in PWG some time soon.

RVD went to do his finger pointing gimmick, but Santino attacked him. RVD kicked him in the head and immediately hit the five star. He then finished his finger pointing gimmick and scored the pin. This was the right finish for this show, but they desperately need to protect Santino more in the booking. It also would have been fun to see Santino interact with some bizarre characters from the past.

Next up was the reunion of Evolution. Ric Flair, Batista and Triple H were introduced separately, and were cool with each other. Randy Orton wouldn’t come to the ring. He said that he has passed by the other members of Evolution, and the last time he was with them they turned on him. HHH said they didn’t turn on him because he was the champion, but because he was a pain in the ass. Orton said he wants to be remembered as a part of Rated RKO. That brought out Edge, who said he will take Batista’s title. Ric Flair told Edge to shut up, and challenged Rated RKO to a six man tag. Orton accepted and said that Umaga would be their partner.

Batista, Ric Flair and Triple H beat Randy Orton, Edge and Umaga via DQ. This wasn’t much of a match. The heels worked over Flair. Flair tagged Batista, who came in with a clothesline for Orton. HHH and Batista hit simultaneous spine busters. Umaga attacked both of them and shoved the referee for a cheap DQ finish. Rated RKO left, leaving Umaga alone. Flair gave him a low blow, Batista hit a spear, and HHH hit the pedigree. They then played Evolution’s music.

Hornswoggle harassed Molly Holly and Mickie James backstage. William Regal announced that there would be a Hornswoggle-Great Khali rematch. He added that Finlay’s planet ticket to the show was cancelled. They’ve been teasing this for so long that I’m really anxious to see someone beat up Hornswoggle.

Hornswoggle vs. Great Khali didn’t get started. Khali got his hands on Hornswoggle, at which point Hulk Hogan’s music played. Hogan made the gesture that he would slam Khali, and the announcers talked about him slamming Andre. Khali went for the chop, but Hogan blocked it.

Khali came back with punches until Hogan hulked up. He knocked Khali down with punches. Hogan invited Khali back, but Khali was held back. So they are saving the slam for another time. Hogan said Hulkamania is alive and well. He congratulated WWE for 15 years of Raw. He said he misses the fans, loves the fans, and never say never. He plugged American Gladiators and posed with Hornswoggle.

They had a battle royal, with all sorts of characters from the past. The participants were Al Snow (with Head), Bart Gunn (in Smokin’ Gunns attire but with Brawl for All music), Doink the Clown, Repo Man, Steve Blackman (in really good shape), Pete Gas (Shane’s buddy, not mine), Bob Backlund, Gangrel, The Goon, Skinner, I.R.S., Flash Funk (with no entrance, a big mistake), Scotty 2 Hotty, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Sgt. Slaughter and Gillberg.

All the wrestlers grabbed Gillberg and dumped him first. From there, it was a contest to see who could get out of there the fastest. The ring emptied in a hurry, with a final four of Skinner, Scotty 2 Hotty, Sgt. Slaughter and I.R.S. Jim Ross labeled this a “bizarre final four.” “Indeed,” Kaientai would likely reply.

I.R.S. went to use his briefcase, but Scotty cut him off and hit the worm. Skinner promptly dumped Scott. Slaughter applied the cobra clutch to Skinner, and dumped him over the top. However, I.R.S. eliminated Slaughter to seemingly win the match. At that point, the Million Dollar Man’s music played. Ted DiBiase came down to the ring, and bribed I.R.S. with a fistful of cash. I.R.S. climbed over the top, and DiBiase was declared the winner. He said everybody has a price, and cackled. This was great fun and I loved the finish.

Eric Bischoff came out. He said that being there meant a lot to him and feigned being choked up. He then insulted the crowd, and said they are dependent on him for entertainment. He told the people to give him a big round of applause. He was interrupted by Chris Jericho, who told him to shut up.

Jericho brought up Bischoff firing him two years ago, but said that was a good thing because it allowed him to get back his passion. He said he will use that to win the title Sunday. Bischoff sarcastically wished him luck on that. He encouraged Jericho to forfeit his title shot. Jericho responded with a derogatory poem directed at Bischoff and punched him. Orton came in, but Jericho caught him in the Walls of Jericho and made him tap out.

Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes defeated Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch to win the tag titles. Dusty Rhodes did commentary, and sadly there were no references to clubbering or the mothership. The crowd was dead for this. The heels worked over Cody, who tagged Holly. Cade accidentally clotheslined Murdoch, and Cody knocked Cade out of the ring. Holly then hit the Alabama slam on Murdoch for the pin.

Jillian Hall came out to sing a song. Trish Stratus interrupted her, and said that Jillian’s music is really bad. Jillian said that Trish has the biggest ego in WWE history. That brought out Lita, who had a stare down with Trish. Jillian encouraged Lita to attack Trish, but Lita instead told Jillian to shut up. Jillian said nobody wanted to see these has-beens, and began singing again. Lita and Trish jumped her and sent her from the ring. Trish and Lita hugged. This was a fun segment.

They followed this with a brief backstage segment. Lita and Kane met backstage, and it was a very awkward moment. Kane asked if she had seen any good movies lately. Lita made a comment about the weather. In the midst of this, Ron Simmons made his cameo.

Mr. Kennedy beat Marty Jannetty. Kennedy worked over Marty, who came back with an enzuigiri. He hit a suplex and the rocker dropper. He went to the top, but Kennedy caught him and went for the Lambeau Leap. Marty got out and rolled up Kennedy for two. Kennedy then hit a reverse STO for the pin. Kennedy jumped Marty after the match. Shawn Michaels made the save, at which point Marty disappeared. Triple H came out and they posed as DX together. This was kind of a flat match.

Vince McMahon closed the show by announcing the greatest superstar in Raw history. It was of course Vince himself. Mankind came out and gave Mr. McMahon Mr. Socko. Undertaker was next, and gave Vince the choke slam. Then Steve Austin came out and gave Vince the stunner. He said the biggest stars on Raw are the fans. All the WWE stars came out to drink with Austin.

Final Thoughts:

I sometimes get e-mails asking why I continue to watch Raw when I have obvious frustrations with the product over the past few years. My response is that it has always been a part of my routine. I’ve watched Raw since the first episode, and was watching Prime Time Wrestling before that. I was 11 when Raw began, which means the show has been a weekly routine for over half my life. I’ve watched it in different states. I’ve watched it in different countries. I can’t imagine not watching it on Monday.

Saying that Raw is part of my routine is not to suggest that it is a chore. There is a reason why I have watched the show for so long, and why the show continues to draw millions of people even when creative is uninspired. Raw has had a lot of fun moments over the years: good angles, good matches, funny vignettes and compelling characters. Tonight’s show provided memories of many of those times, and it was a fun and nostalgic three hours. For a company that doesn’t pay a lot of attention to history, the show offered a lot of winks and nods to long time fans.

Raw over its fifteen years has been a tremendous success for WWE, and hopefully the years to come will produce similar success. I think there are some in WWE who feel that a portion of the current fan base doesn’t want to like the product, and finds reasons to reach negative conclusions. I think it’s the exact opposite. There is a large portion of the current fan base that really wants to like the product, and would like nothing better than to love Raw each week. That’s an attainable goal, and hopefully WWE can find a way to make it happen in the coming years.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 12/03/07 from Charleston, SC.

The Big News: Next week Raw is three hours. Hopefully they find a better way to fill the time than this week’s two hour show.

Show Analysis:

Chris Jericho came out to start the show. He said he had to do something different to earn a title shot, so he tried to infuriate Randy Orton. Here, I thought the whole idea was you earn a title shot by winning matches. Jericho said he manipulated Orton, and after the show Orton agreed to defend his title at Armageddon. Jericho said he would win the title.

This brought out Randy Orton. Orton pointed out that Jericho hasn’t beaten anyone for two years, while Orton has beaten all the best. Jericho said that past history doesn’t matter and he’ll take the title. William Regal then joined them. He said that each would get to pick the other’s Raw opponent. Orton picked Umaga and Jericho picked Shawn Michaels.

Beth Phoenix and Melina defeated Mickie James and Maria. Mickie went after Beth with punches early. Mickie went to the top rope, but was knocked down. Beth then hit a spinning power slam and fisherwoman buster to pin Mickie clean. This was short, but crisper than most women’s matches. They have done a good job building Beth.

Shawn Michaels did a promo where he said sweet chin music would be legal against Randy Orton. Mr. Kennedy appeared on a monitor, and said Michaels needs to worry about him. Kennedy promised a blast from the past.

Mr. Kennedy came to the ring and said he wanted to take a look at Michaels’ career. He introduced a fake Marty Jannetty, fake Razor Ramon (not Rick Bogner), fake Diesel (not Kane) and fake Michaels (not Michaels in the Montreal dressing room). Kennedy had one funny line, where he said to Razor, “Hey, thanks for coming.”

Kennedy and the imposters insulted Michaels. Michaels came out and laid out three of the fakes. Fake Shawn left. This segment was atrocious. Just a complete and total abomination. None of the imposters were funny. It didn’t generate heat towards Kennedy. It was just a stupid, boring waste of time.

They announced that next week Hulk Hogan, Trish Stratus, Mick Foley, Eric Bischoff and Steve Austin will appear. Plus, there will be a McMahon family portrait with Vince, Stephanie, Shane, Linda and Hornswoggle. Also, Vince McMahon will announce the biggest star in Raw history, presumably himself.

Vince McMahon told Hornswoggle that he would wrestle Carlito and Coach in a no-DQ handicap match. Vince left the room and Hornswoggle made a phone call from Vince’s cell phone. Triple H asked William Regal about his match with Jeff Hardy. Regal said the winner would receive a title shot at the Royal Rumble. So it looks like the Jericho program isn’t lasting long.

Chris Jericho beat Umaga via DQ. Umaga threw Jericho over the top rope, and applied a nerve hold. Jericho came back with punches, chops, an enzuigiri, a bulldog, the lionsault and the code breaker. At that point, Randy Orton ran in for the DQ and gave Jericho the RKO. I’ve long hated these gutless non-finishes that make match results feel insignificant. And given a title is supposed to symbolize the best wrestler, title challengers need to win matches if the title match is to signify anything.

Carlito and Coach were set to face Hornswoggle, but Hornswoggle said he hired protection. It was Ron Simmons and JBL as the APA. This was a fun surprise. Simmons gave Carlito a spine buster. JBL gave Coach the clothesline from hell and Hornswoggle hit the frog splash for the pin. After the match, JBL plugged all of his stuff before Simmons finally grabbed the mic and said damn.

Jeff Hardy beat Snitsky. Snitsky before the match said he’d inflict pain because pain gives him pleasure. God does this guy suck. The crowd was dead for the match. Jeff hit the whisper in the wind and the swanton for the pin. Snitsky gave Jeff a high knee after the match and grabbed a chair. HHH made the save with the sledgehammer. HHH helped up Jeff but had some words for him.

Randy Orton beat Shawn Michaels via count out, apparently. Michaels took about five minutes to figure out how to apply an ankle lock. Michaels went for sweet chin music on the outside, but hit the timekeeper. That was a cool spot, reminiscent of WrestleMania XII. Orton used a low blow and DDT. Michaels hit an inverted atomic drop and elbow off the top. He was going for sweet chin music when Mr. Kennedy came out.

Michaels hit a pescado to Kennedy, and they brawled on the outside. For some reason, Kennedy running out and attacking Michaels was fine since Michaels tried to cut him off. Thus, there was no DQ and instead Michaels was counted out. This had a finish that was both crappy and non-sensical. Jericho then attacked Orton.

The show concluded with Stephanie McMahon arriving. She was concerned that Vince invited all these people who dislike him to Raw next week. She said Vince gets beat up all the time on Raw, and was concerned it would happen again. She told Vince not to come to Raw next week. Vince blew her off.

Final Thoughts:

The streak of Raw shows I really liked ended at one. The Ric Flair angle was completely ignored. It felt like everyone was running in place, with really bad finishes. The Mr. Kennedy segment was unbelievably bad. WWE could correct a lot of their booking problems by thinking long and hard about what a championship means, and what they would do differently if their top goal was to make the championship feel as important as possible.